OPINION: One gubernatorial candidate aims to uplift all Texas constituents


Chloe Almendarez / Hilltop Views

With govenatorial elections occuring in November, the Texas Capital, which sits at the end of South Congress Ave., may become home to a fresh face.

As the countdown to midterm elections ticks down, candidates for congressional, state and local positions continue to campaign for their chance to represent the people of Texas. For Texas voters, the most crucial seat up for election this November is that of governor. After a heated face off, Texans will choose between two leading candidates to determine the future of the Lone Star State.

Governor Greg Abbott is seeking his third term in office after being elected for the first time in 2015. Abbott has strongly advocated for issues regarding education reform, gun control, immigration, law enforcement and religious freedom. In his current campaign, Abbott is prioritizing border security and law enforcement, job creation, expansion of energy production and cutting property taxes. 

Challenging Governor Abbott is Beto O’Rourke, who served as a house representative in Congress 2013-2019 and previously ran for senate against Ted Cruz in 2018. Since announcing his campaign for governor in 2021, O’Rourke has put up a tough fight for the seat, stating that “those in positions of public trust have stopped listening to, serving, paying attention to and trusting the people of Texas.” 

O’Rourke’s campaign focuses on large issues that have been facing Texans for years:  the expansion of Medicare, increasing public school funding, ensuring a safe, legal and orderly immigration system, weatherizing the power grid and increasing minimum wage. More divisively, O’Rourke proposes enacting preventative measures to reduce crime, to create stronger gun safety laws and to repeal Texas’ current abortion ban.

Recently, O’Rourke wrapped up his 49-day “Drive For TX” which included stops in over 65 counties to host town hall-style discussions with the people of Texas about common issues. After having the opportunity to listen to O’Rourke’s speech during his stop in Austin, it is clear O’Rourke is dedicated to serving the people of Texas and creating a lasting impact.

Both of the candidates have distinct platforms. O’Rourke’s campaign speaks to a crowd of Texans who desire change: those who have seen the tough times and wish to see Texas move forward into a new era. Abbott’s campaign, however, seems to lack a contemporary understanding of the complex issues that Texans face. 

As we depart from the pandemic era, where social advocacy and government action have been at the forefront of national conversation, Texas needs a leader that will take us forward into a future where every Texan has the opportunity to live a safe, equitable and prosperous life. Beto O’Rourke is a passionate candidate who truly believes in these principles and I believe that if elected, he will uplift Texans and deliver the change we need.

The two candidates will debate on Sept. 30, and as election day draws nearer, it is critical young voters take the time to evaluate the candidates’ platforms and decide the future we want to see. I encourage you to speak with classmates and register to vote before it’s too late. Remember: Your vote matters.